Technology akin to farming existing in an ecosystem need to be generated. It needs location specific perfection and adoption. This could be possible by supporting KVK & Extension system with technology testing and refinement. Thus the whole discipline of Agricultural Extension need reforms. On the basis of a broad review presented in this paper, following recommendations could be deduced to reform and fine tune technology generation, dissemination and its delivery as an agri-pack end product.(APEP)
1. The base of discipline of Agriculture extension may be broaded to incorporate all disciplines, management tools and techniques. It is proposed to name it “Farm Business Management”. It should be open to all agricultural & allied undergraduates. The course curriculum needs training and skill up-gradation of graduates and post-graduates in techniques like analysis of data, survey procedures, marketing, economics, rural sociology and farming systems etc.
2. Various reformation capsules like Chinese model, African experiences, Dutch model, Netherland model, Isreal model, California model and Iranian models have been reviewed. On the basis of these models a new model for technology delivery suitable to our agro-eco-conditions has been postulated & named as Mohi-Model. Once we receive an acceptance for the model, logistics and plans to execute it could be formulated.
Four paradigms of Agricultural extension consists of Technology transfer, prevalent since colonial times & later National Agriculture Extension Project (NAEP), reshaped in 1970-80 as Training and visit system across Asia. It involved top down approach. Its role needs disdcussion. The second paradigm called as Advisory work is what is present system of extension, where, government agencies, NGO and technical industries respond to farmers enquiries which we call advisory role. The third paradigm consists of Human Resource Development. This innovation helped Europe and North America. The Universities gave training to rural youth. It is these educated, trained youth which became future farmers in developed countries. What is known as outreach system of colleges and universities is still unknown in our Agricultural Research system including State Agriculture Universities. A half hearted attempt as Agri-business Agri-clinical is still to be backed with University, research, banking and economic support. Is it which can help us to increase productivity in India or Asia needs consideration ?.
Technology adoption and impact
The impact of National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) (1986-92) revealed that , technologies generated were few and adoption rate was not high, even then an estimated monetary benefit of Rs.2000/ per hectare was observed.
Low relationship between technologies developed and adopted demands a mixed farming technology capsule as 65% of our farmer’s are small and marginal farmers. This needs a total shift to left in our agricultural extension methodology. (Reddy 2001).
T & V programme initiated with central assistance in state has aroused all round technological awareness among agricultural experts. Its dialogue and technology transfer from University (Scientists) to experts agricultural extension workers was nearly total revolution. The (ZAREC) Zonal Agricultural advisory Research and Extension counseling was the best plate form to discuss main issues impeding agricultural development. The missionary publication of production recommendations helps a lot in transfer of technology. The presentation of production recommendations in local language is helpful in increasing productivity in many countries. (Wani, 2004)
Brinjal production technology adoption in Parbani, Mahrastra was the result of social participation, risk management guarantee, marketing orientation, information websites and communication methods. (Dudhak et al 2003).
Various limitation of transport, extension staff were the reasons of poor productivity gains in Malakhand agency of Pakistan. (Mohamad et al, 2003).
The adoption of legume production technologies under Jhodpur arid conditions was low. The problems as indicated by farmers were small farm size. Small holder farmer was less interested to adopt these technologies. Non existence of market and pricing policy, risk of failure, feeding habits, social taboo and lack of Post Harvest Technology (PHT) were identified. (Yadev et al, 2003).
Proper guidance or information support was the major constraint in adoption of improved Wheat cultivation in Himachal Pradesh. It contributed to 16.8% non-adoption rate among farmers. Other contributory factors were technological unawareness (13.33%) sloppy land (11.31%), farm input cost (9.41%), non availability of irrigation (8.29%) and lack of inputs (7.95%) (Puran chand et al, 2001).
Social Structure & Technology Adoption
Schedule caste farmers in Maharastra have low level of rice technology adoption. Among 150 such farmers only 12.6% had high adoption rate (Mankar et al,2004). Adoption of production recommendations of Cashew in Maharastra’s Sindhubrug district was 58% (Bhairamkar et al, 2004). Motto of extension programmes should be reach to unreached, teach to un-teached, be known to unknown (Ganesan et al, 2003) (Wani, 1998). Agricultural productivity in Czch Republic increased when information and communication in extension system was improved for small scale farmers (Slavik, 2003).
A survey conducted among 120 farmers in Karnool district, Andhra Pradesh, India, revealed that education, social participation, scientific orientation, risk management, mass media exposure, economic and market orientation were positively and significantly correlated with the extent of adoption of recommended hybrid jowar (sorghum) seed practices by the farmers. Majority of the farmers (43.33%) had a medium level of the adoption of the recommended practices. (Kumar et al, 2005). It is suggested that five categories of factors determine the adoption of irrigation systems and are the keys to designing relevant, effective and innovative irrigation extension programmes among horticulturalists. The five categories of factors are : Soil type and topography ; crop quality; sowing time; saving water and crop yield (Kaine & Beswell, 2005). We in J&K under SREP Strategic Research extension plan of Districts notice lack of information on sowing time, seed rate and fertilizer application in almost all the crops. Seed treatment awareness helped farmers to combat paddy blast (Wani, 2006, 2007).
Methodologies for analysis of farming system, options for development & sustainable eco-friendly farm science technology are the needs of the hour. We do have subject-matter-specialists, but the agents for evaluating the composite effect of various discipline oriented technology cover is yet to be structured. This is exactly where we should intervene and restructure the discipline, programmes and divisions of extension education in the country. Infact a total change from existing slow action, low innovative, conventional and disintegrated extension system has to be refined into analytic , managemental , social, economical, marketable system, so that the whole technology transfer could be evaluated in terms of productivity and monetory gains per hectare. Different cropping and livestock patterns and combinations need to be evaluated & monitored. The impact analysis of wide range of Agricultural technology transfer be it training, entrepreneurship or agri business is needed, both before and after technology application.
The available research results have to pierce the farmers farming practices. Non – adoption is the result of our low productivity levels per unit of land. Inspite of tremendous yield gains the per unit profitability has not raised the economic conditions of our farmers. Our farm economy still fluctuates between season’s, rainy years and among regions. Now for any widespread gains from technology, it is essential to know its impact and adoptability rate. It is therefore necessary to develop new technologies after considering socio-organizational arrangements, local existing soil, water, human needs and resources. The local skills need to be known and refinement is made to improve profitability. Our experience under IVLP showed a net productivity gains of 2 q/hac in rice production by improving local village driven plough. Similar innovative ideas local technologies with improved or exotic one gave good results in development of profitable farming . (Wani, 2004,2003, 2005,2006,2007).
(i) Chinese Model
Chinese experiences needs a try under our socio-economic conditions. The successful improvement of Sheep and Yak herds in china can be a good example for use in India. Under this project they first took stock of rangeland and livestock resources. Then socio-economic conditions of the livestock breeders were analysed. Livestock and pasture management by rodents was studied. Rasngeland revegatation methods were tested and propagated. Seeded fodders and effect of these improved method of pasture development on disease control and profits from livestock were analysed. (Wagenin gem et al, 2001). Thus, the extension education programmes should ensure facilitation of Farmer empowerment and not dependence on subsidy. This means incorporating studies and programmes of Agri-livestock economics, grass land and rangeland management, crop and tree production in Agri-extension curricula.
(ii) African Model
A new participating approach of clubbing local and outside knowledge to solve the agricultural problem is needed. Innovative approaches for soil and water conservation in Ethiopia and Tanzania were helpful. A new model of participatory modified Technology development approach is fast being recognized, as the only way of clubbing traditional and modern technologies for agri-development . (Kib Wana et al 2000)
(iii) Dutch Model
The total reformation of agricultural technology transfer shall need refinement of elementary methodologies used in extension consisting of PRA, PERT or other specific managemental, communication and modern GIS- Geographic Information System use. This would involve a total change in Extension Education, objectives, methodology & course curriculum. We need agricultural networking for bringing out results of transferable technologies. Experimental learning and knowledge sharing has to be incorporated, as research on farmers field. Farmers have to be part of our learning and experimentation process. Dutch model could be used. (Leeuwis, 2000) in India to ensure quick technology use. Let us evaluate technology use. It has been seen that some progressive farmers have awareness of technology but being absentee farmers, their workers have no knowledge or skills to use them in the field. Is it time to come out of “Technology dissemination Scenario” to “Technology Use Status in the field” and “Productivity gain assessment models” .
(iv) Mohi – Model – (Proposed Model)
Experience learning, market designs, farm economics, sustainable agriculture, Agri-information, communication skills and farm business shall be the knowledge bank available to Agri-Extension & communication experts, whom we should name “FBM” – “Farm Business Management Experts”. The Extension Education is outdated and too oftenly used and misunderstood phrase. Extension includes now every attempt to communicate with farmers. Today’s extension agencies can be university scientists, Subject matter specialists, Agri experts, farmers or even partially Agri known NGO or their agents. Thus, the whole blame of others has to be shared by University experts. Agri-University, applied knowledge has to be communicated to farmers as “end product” as pharmaceutical companies do. Thus all the current “building block” , known knowledge has to be computerized and stored. This has to be reshaped and re-arranged as knowledge packs for innovative and whole farming capsules rather than one commodity knowledge sharing as in the west. We do have commodity but not composite agriculture packages. A booklet on its composite effects has been published as Broad Based Extension Education (Wani, 1992).
Training & visits on farm level failed but farmer-training & Farmer-research participation or demonstrations at farmers field did achieve a great success. With constraints of men and resources and crop insurance in vogue, we must induce researchers to have direct participatory research at farmer’s doors, on their fields. This venture can be on cost-sharing basis or with participatory involvement of Industry. (SAMETI, Kashmir model refers). Proc. XXI EECM,2008.
Insect-pest Management research could be an example. Some FAO programme results are encouraging (Matteson, 2000). Rice IPM research must incorporate farmer-training of farmers. New pest management procedures are to be experimented under farmers field. Minimum use of pesticide and eco-friendly application is preferred. (Matteson, 2000).
Problems and constraints of technology transfer in India have been reported, (Bairathi, 1998). Similarly bio-gas technology use or adoption has been full of constraints detailed . (Prasad and Singh, 1999), these range from technological, financial, administrative and innovative ones. Proper mechanization and training in operation of such bio gas technology is necessary.
An information web networking developed helped farmers to improve their income through training and advise thus participatory technology transfer is a possible mechanism for improvement in Agri-productivity. (Warren, 2003)
Quest for knowledge led Netherland farmers to have an association for organic farm produce. This association conducted its own farm research and shared its experiences with other farmer members back in 1980. Soon they felt that their experiences lacked experimental details. They approached Govt agricultural Research Organization and started collaborating with them. The station mandate was to assist the development of farming systems in the area called polder in the village Nagale of Netherland. This combination of research and farming practices at farmers field tried various crop combinations and rotations. The use of nitrogen-fixing crops (Legumes) for maintaining soil fertility and strategic management of pests and diseases, extending or delaying planting of various crops etc. Some experiences of low-weed-crop production by adopting agronomic practices like regular harrowing of lands and use of crop covers were tried. The farmer pressure and self sustaining groups need to be involved in research experiments of SAU/ICAR and all other KVK farms and institutes (Reinders, 2007). This would have both a demonstration and high adoption value. Besides it would be a close to practical field research model (PFRM).
Horizontal, farmer to farmer contacts help dissemination of agricultural information. This horizontal expansion of information from one vegetable grower to another in Suden. (Badri, 2001) helped technology adoption.
Mass media support for rice production has been helpful in Bihar. Out of 5 TV talks, 75% farmers benefited and registered higher production and low disease damages. (1taque, 2000) similar observations are known in J&K. (Wani 2006). Electronic technological diffusion of knowledge at Farmer’s fields was helpful, local language and local persons can diffuse ideas and disseminate information and communication faster. It is proposed to have innovative knowledge defusion to women farmers through local women (Rani and Reddy, 2002).
Farm – Women awareness Module
Majority of rice producing farmers in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh had no extension personnel contact or electronic or print media information. Continuous information on mass media have significant impact on use of seed rate, transplantation time and application of nitrogenous fertilizers in Rice (Thusoo and Sohi, 2000). A gap existed in knowledge of farmers so far as dose of fertilizer application is concerned (Yadav and Singh, 2000).
Farm women adoption rate for use of farm implements was good when uses of such implements were demonstrated to them. (Sharma et al 2003).
Farm women were given farm implements to use for a fortnight. Majority found them 78% profitable & 77% compatible. (Sharma and Sharma, 2002). Information from research to farmers via extension officers was examined. The inter system communication helps in technology dissemination of dairy farmers in Iran (Rezvanfer, 2001). Rice cultivation awareness improved when women farmers were trained (Rama Krishnan and Mahendram, 2003). Agricultural Knowledge and information system increased economic efficiency of crop production, out put costs, social upgradation and income generation (Carrasco et al, 2003).
Extension Briefs – self help options (SHO)
Small farmers are neglected by extension services and need proper awareness in Kurram (Haq et al 2004). Agricultural extension specialists must specialize in community structure, development , education learning tools, technology and policy issues. Thus these disciplines or topics need incorporation in Farm Business Management curriculum.
Partnership process, management and communication should be the main thrust. Co-operative mechanism, farm business management and evaluation and monitoring tools should be used.
Seed production programme was successfully implemented by farm women as a self-help group in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu (Balasubramanian and Thamizoli, 2003). Efficiency of extension lies in bottom up approach in hilly areas. Farmers interest group awareness was most successful (Muhammad-Zafarullah 2003). Small scale farming operations using green manure cover improved soil fertility. Participatory extension system helped more adoption of technology in Uganda. (Miiro et al, 2002).
Farmers training and their own information networks helps small holder farmers. Topics including community involvement, international multicultural projects, leadership, learning strategies, new tools and technology, volunteer programme , programme development and evaluation, public policy issues, youth education and partnerships needs introduction in Agri-Extension curricula (now proposed as Farm Business Management). Agriculture, natural resources and health/nutrition shall form the basic of new agri-farm-business extension system (Logan, 2004). The word extension be replaced with “Farm Business Management”.
While the Nusa Tenggara Timur Provience is supposedly following the training and visit model, agricultural extension Workers receive very little training. Other major constraints identified include constant restructuring of the Agricultural Department, poor remuneration, oppressive authority, inadequate infrastructure, unclear job direction, geographical conditions and bureaucracy. (Leta et al, 2005). This is the reason of low technology revolution in rural India and Asia too can be overcomed by transparent, NAR System, which need renaming as National Farm utility Research and delivery system.
By combining biophysical science with social science, it is possible to increase the impact of biophysical science findings at the farm level (Linehan et al, 2005).
General model of extension in SAU can be seen from the role of PAU, which needs a total reform. Should we look for Isreal model. Isreal is characterized by topographical variations and a wide range of soils, enabling the growing and raising of a variety of crops and animals. A large increase in population immediately after 1948, required a rapid increase in food production, followed by development of research and extension facilities and services. In recent years Isreal, like many other countries, has faced difficulties in continuing to supply the level of services it previously provided. This difficulty led agricultural organizations to begin assuming the responsibility of partially financing extension for a few years, and later on trying to reflect the cost onto the farmers. Farmers are apparently willing to pay for on-farm extension visits. Under this system, the Flower Board is financing many public extension activities and charging the farmer for partial costs of on-farm visits. This system operates successfully, aided by reports that are filed electronically by agents all over Isreal to the Floriculture Department Head Office, and from the Head Office to the Flower Board. Advantages of the new system are : a tremendous increase in agent-to-farmer commitment; the professional level of agents remains at least the same as before; and the financial situation of the majority of agents is better than before . The disadvantage is that some farmers are consuming less extension than before. (Wolpson, 2005)
Global Successful extension experiences
California’s land grant extension progamme has been successful in assisting agricultural Industries develop as major world producers. Extension has been a leader in facilitating quality-of-life and economic improvements for rural communities throughout the state. However, population explosion has transformed California into an urban state, with changing societal issues, values and priorities. Agricultural extension programmes continue to directly serve a declining number of clientale that represent less than 1.5% of the population. Financial support for extension is decreasing at the country and state levels, thus such models used by us in SAU could be catastrophic and need change.
Iran is one of the world’s top ten horticultural producers. However, post-harvest losses in Iran are six times greater than the world average. Even after establishing an agricultural extension Service, Iran still experiences great problems in reducing post-harvest losses (Jowkar, 2005). Results revealed that education, material possession, mass media exposure, extension contact, scientific orientation and risk preference were significantly and positively correlated with the knowledge level of farmers pre- and post training. (Malite et al , 2005.
Agricultural development programmes often produce unexpected results. This can be attributed to the fact that the target farmers already have their own knowledge and competencies that determine their practices. In order to be adopted, an innovation has first to be discussed, and then appropriated by a local group of farmers in their system of knowledge and in their system of meaning; subsequently the innovation may be rejected or adopted by all the farmers concerned (Mathieu, 2004).
The findings also revealed that the attitudes of the respondents were significantly and positively related to education, organizational membership, land holding, contact with extension agent , mass media exposure, socio-economic status, awareness, income and material possession. Lack of proper technical knowledge, lack of irrigation facility and high cost of fertilizers/chemical were indicated as the three most important problems of the tribal farm women run agriculture farms. (Bharali et al, 2004).
Agricultural extension is evolving world wide, and there is much emphasis today on community-based mechanisms of dissemination in order to bring sustainable change. The factors that make farmer groups successful in disseminating information and technologies need to be analyzed. A mixed methodology, multiple-stage approach was used to obtain data. Dairy-goat farmer groups (n=46) and individual farmers (n=88) were interviewed. Factors that were associated with group success in dissemination included member participation, degree of jealousy within the group, homogeneity of members, group capacity, number of linkages and type of group (Project-supported versus non-supported). Some interventions that may increase the success of groups in dissemination include capacity- building , increasing linkages with other extension stakeholders, providing an environment for groups to form, using established groups (as compared to forming new groups), and encouraging groups to form around common interests rather than for other reasons. (Davis et al, 2004). Some methods in this direction are documented (Wani,2008 a).
Professor Ghulam Mohyuddin Wani did his Ph.D from IVRI, Izatnagar in 1985 in Animal Reproduction / Gynaecology and got Dr. Med. Vet.**Additional Doc. Degree from Veterinary Institute, Deemed Univ. Hannover Germany in 1984 in the field of Animal Reproduction/ Production. He also earned DAAD Fellowship(Post Doc.) from German Academic Exchange, Hannover, Germany in Animal Breeding institute, Buetweg, Hannover,Germany and is currently Director Extension Education and Director SAMETI in the S.K. University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar – Srinagar.
The author can be contacted at: P.O.Box: 461, GPO, Srinagar by post or mailed at email@example.com